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Oct. 8, 2010

County Legislature Declares October 15 as White Cane Safety Day

VISION NETWORK RECEIVES PROCLAMATION - - County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann presents a proclamation to members of the Vision Network. Standing in the County Legislature Chambers, from left, are Ken Skillen, Jeremy Hanlon, Legislature Chairman Leemann, Sabine Ingerson, and Bea Welch.

Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann has designated Friday, Oct. 15 as White Cane Safety Day and urges the public to be considerate of those who live with visual impairments.

"White Cane Safety Day was introduced by the Vision Network of Oswego County to remind the public to yield to individuals using a white cane to navigate the community," said Legislature Chairman Leemann. "The Oswego County Legislature recognizes the Vision Network for its priceless contributions as an advocate for individuals who are blind or have vision loss."

A white cane is used by those with vision impairments to help with mobility and independence of day to day tasks.

Vision Network's mission is to improve the quality of life and create a sense of independence for Oswego County residents of all ages who have vision related needs. The organization conducts public education programs and advocates for those with visual impairments.

"We ask people to keep in mind and be alert while driving for those with vision loss," said Sabine Ingerson, director of ARISE.

Ingerson said a new safety issue has emerged with the increased use of hybrid vehicles.

"Because pedestrians who are blind cannot locate and evaluate the traffic flow using their vision, they listen to traffic to judge the speed and distance of vehicles in order to negotiate crossing the street safely and independently," said Ingerson. "The new 'silent' cars do not produce enough noise to be identified. In fact, the number of accidents involving pedestrians is twice as high when a silent car is involved. Other people, including cyclists, runners, and children, also benefit from hearing the sound of automobile engines."

For more information on Vision Network of Oswego County, call 315-342-4088 or visit the Web site at www.ariseinc.org.

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